HARARE: Brendan Taylor became just the third Zimbabwean batsman to score centuries in both innings of a Test match as his side completed a crushing victory over Bangladesh in the first Test at Harare Sports Club.Scorecard: Set an unlikely 483 runs to win the match after Taylor had reached the landmark early on Saturday, Bangladesh folded to 147 all out to lose by 335 runs inside four days.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers required just 49.2 overs to knock over the tourists in their second innings, with fast bowler Kyle Jarvis doing the damage before leg spinner Graeme Cremer claimed figures of 4 for 4 to wrap up the tail after tea.
Although Zimbabwe deserved credit for some accurate bowling, Bangladesh’s batsmen contributed to their own downfall as they grew impatient too easily and gifted their wickets away.
Having gone into the match as favourites, it was an embarrassing defeat for the tourists against their closest rivals, as Zimbabwe recorded their 10th Test victory and ensured at worst a share of the spoils in the two-match series.
No visiting batsman passed 50 in the match, with Mohammad Ashraful top-scoring in the second innings with 40 before being run out in bizarre fashion.
“I’m really disappointed in the way we played in this match, especially in the batting,” said captain Mushfiqur Rahim.
“I thought we had the technique to cope with their pace bowling but there were just too many soft dismissals in the middle, particularly from our experienced players.”
Zimbabwe had resumed on their overnight total of 187 for seven, with Taylor on 81, and the 27-year-old required just eight overs to get to three figures before declaring the innings on 227 for seven.
Man of the match Taylor was the first Zimbabwean captain to score twin tons in the same Test, and the third of any Zimbabwean batsman after brothers Grant and Andy Flower.
“To be grouped with the Flowers, two of the best players to come out of Zimbabwe, is a big honour,” Taylor said.
“Most importantly though we’ve come out with a good result and that means a lot more to me.”
Although Taylor’s 171 and 102 not out was perhaps not as impressive as Andy Flower’s 142 and 199 not out against the stronger opposition of South Africa in 2001, it nevertheless came in a match where no other batsman made more than 55.
The second Test gets underway on Thursday at the same venue.
An earlier report said, Captain Brendan Taylor marked Zimbabwe’s Independence Day with a record-breaking score, but Bangladesh’s bold reply with the bat allowed them to end day two of the first Test with the initiative. Taylor’s 171 formed the backbone in a Zimbabwean total of 389 all out, before Bangladesh responded positively to go to stumps on 95 for one with Jahurul Islam unbeaten on 38 and Mohammad Ashraful on 23 not out.
Taylor’s eight-hour epic was also the highest Test score by a Zimbabwean captain, eclipsing Andy Flower’s 156 against Pakistan at the same Harare Sports Club venue in 1995, and the eighth best by any Zimbabwean.
Batting coach Grant Flower, who played 67 Tests for Zimbabwe and scored a double-century himself, rated Taylor’s knock as one of the finest in his country’s history.
“It was definitely up there around the top,” said Flower.
“He showed amazing application, and I think he changed his game — especially yesterday — to the type of wicket he was playing on.
“There’s always been a lot of pressure on him as one of the best batsmen in the side, if not the best, which is pretty similar to what Andy’s situation was.”
Taylor had shared in a century stand with Malcolm Waller on the first day, and enjoyed another one with Graeme Cremer on the second to keep Zimbabwe ticking along — albeit at a slow scoring rate.
After resuming on their overnight total of 217 for four, with Taylor on 105, the hosts lost Elton Chigumbura and Richmond Mutumbami in quick succession at the start of the day’s play before Cremer provided sturdy support in a 107-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
Although Taylor and Cremer departed in the space of three deliveries, with the latter dismissed for 42, Keegan Meth and Shingirai Masakadza prolonged the innings by adding 21 runs apiece.
Whereas Zimbabwe had batted cautiously for the majority of their innings, with the run-rate never rising above 2.7 per over, Bangladesh’s openers opted for a more aggressive approach.
“We thought that the wicket looked a bit better after the first session yesterday, and that it’s a really good pitch now,” Enamul Haque said.
“We can still win this match if we think positively.”
While their approach nearly led to a dismissal in the first over when Jahurul was dropped at third slip by Cremer off the bowling of Kyle Jarvis, it unsettled the rhythm of Zimbabwe’s bowlers and ensured a brisk start.
Jarvis did enjoy success when he induced a leading edge from Shahriar Nafees that was snaffled by Timycen Maruma at point, but the fast bowler was also guilty of bowling too full and conceded 39 runs in his eight overs.
(Source: AFP via Yahoo Mews)